Laughter Yoga did not appear in a vacuum. It followed decades of ground work done by many great people around the world - some famous and others not - who helped raise mass consciousness about the preventive and therapeutic benefits of laughter.
Social worker’s four-year drive to prove that laughter truly is the best medicine has finally brought her international recognition.
Dr Gita Suraj-Narayan, 56, and her daughter Sheroma, 26, from South Africa, have recently received international recognition for their research on the benefits of laughter therapy for stroke victims. Their work has impressed the members of the social welfare department at Ryukoku University Junior College in Japan so much that they intend to use their techniques of laughter-yoga to help people deal with the shock of the recent earthquakes in Japan.
Laugh for no reason? You just need to be willing to try. Participants in nurse Patty Freier's grief seminar at Childers Place had lost spouses, children, a brother or a sister an did just that. They got silly, let it go and gave themselves permission to laugh. "I liked it. I had one of those days where it was hard to stop crying, and I haven't had one of those in awhile," said Dianna Price after they were finished. "This was really good for me. Your mental outlook begins to change."
Sydney, Australia: I walked into my first laughter yoga class expecting to see a hippie in a tie dyed shirt and leggings. I did not expect my yoga teacher to be a lawyer. And I certainly didn't expect to be rolling around on the floor laughing with a bunch of people I'd never met before. But that's exactly what happened.
Brenda Crook paws the air as she stands laughing with eyes wide open, her tongue out and a red foam ball pinching her nose. About 10 other clown-nosed people surround her and mimic the same "Lion Yoga Pose." The image seems absurd, but Crook, 34, needs a little silliness in her life. She is battling breast cancer at Cancer Treatment Centers of America at the Western Regional Medical Center in Goodyear.
Can one be happy and stay positive in such a stressful and challenging world? My friends and I regularly answer to the top of our lungs with an affirmative “yes!” at the end of every laughter session we have together, often times daily. We laugh for no particular reason except that of feeling happier and healthier. No joke.
Robert Provine says that homegrown laughter may be what ailing couples need most. Laughter is first and foremost a social signal that binds people together. It synchronizes the brains of speaker and listener so that they are emotionally attuned.